The fetus is 21 weeks old today and yesterday was the abnormality ultrasound (ie. the one that takes a while). It was the second and probably final ultrasound.

I haven’t really visually documented this pregnancy as I did the last one, where I took weekly pictures, both overhead and profile. But I have been sort of planning a photo series of the pregnancy in my head and I was actually kind of excited for the ultrasound so I could execute some of the ideas I’ve been having. Unfortunately for me, when I asked if I could take pictures, the ultrasound technician, a young blond girl with a daisy-chain headband, told me that they didn’t allow it under hospital policy and the layout of the room and et cetera were the property of the hospital and how they had privacy regulations. I didn’t believe it for a moment and was annoyed, but I had to comply. I’d visualized images of the gel on my belly, of a hand holding the wand, of Lucas and Raspberry watching the screen, that sort of thing. I’m sure none of those images would have been violated any privacy regulations. Anyway, I suspected that this inflexibility was due to the sonographer’s age — she was quite young and I sometimes think there’s a stricter adherence to rules when you’re inexperienced. I’m comparing this to our first ultrasound experience, where the sonographer was older and was cool with me taking a picture of baby’s image on the screen and she also gave us three ultrasound pictures for free (despite a sign on the wall saying that there was a charge of £3). This time, we were informed that we could have as many pictures as we wanted… but at £3…. each. Talk about a money grab.

Despite my annoyance, the ultrasound went smoothly. Actually, it went surprisingly quickly. I remember the one with Raspberry took at least a half-hour and on the information sheets, it was stated that it’d take approximately that long. But we were probably in and out in about ten to fifteen minutes. The sonographer seemed to make all the measurements very quickly and nimbly. Lucas suggested that perhaps it’s because of her efficiency that we got into our appointment on time — like with most other medical appointments, I’d actually expected to wait a long time (never a good thing when you have a full bladder, but at least I didn’t drink as much this time as I did when I had the ultrasounds pregnant with Raspberry). The baby was really wiggly and for the most part, wasn’t lying in an opportune position for a good picture to be taken. We watched as it squirmed and re-adjusted itself, like how one might do when trying to get comfortable in bed. I was quite amused. The sonographer pointed out the dark patches indicating its eyes and I was a little surprised by the creepy, alien-like look that’s more reminiscent of early embryohood. But I suppose it makes sense, since it’s only a two-dimensional ultrasound. We made it clear at the start that we didn’t want to know the baby’s sex, so the sonographer warned us every time she was going around the baby’s lower half. To be honest, I can’t really make out much beyond bones on the ultrasound anyway, so I wouldn’t have been able to figure it out. One time, I thought I heard the sonographer say “he,” but Lucas didn’t hear it, so I could’ve misheard or she could’ve just been saying “he” in the way people tend to refer to many animals or things with a masculine pronoun. For some unknown reason, I think this baby’s a boy, but it’s completely baseless. Perhaps it’s because I frequently read about the politics of children and gender and often, about boys and so-called femininity (eg. the colour pink, dresses, long hair), so maybe that’s been on my brain more.

The pregnancy has generally been uneventful lately. In the past week, I’ve been feeling the baby move a lot more and Lucas has been able to feel it with a hand on my belly. Two nights ago, it felt like the baby was kicking up a storm and every time I put my hand where I’d last felt it kick, it’d move elsewhere. Figures. It feels like there’s a lot of pressure on my pelvis when I’m standing or when I walk, so I’m always glad to sit down when I get the chance. I was at a gallery last weekend and all these people were standing to watch a long video and I nabbed the chance to sit on the bench since others weren’t.

I think the pregnancy hormones have given me a pyogenic granuloma on my chin. Remember when I was at the print fair and had some crazy, half-hour long bleeding from what I thought was a popped zit? Yeah, that “zit” bled profusely another six or eight times after, sometimes after some deliberate popping and sometimes after something as simple as drying my face after my shower or putting my shirt on. After some Googling, I came upon a pyogenic granuloma (well, Lucas came up with it). It makes sense, since it’s full of capillaries and bleeds frequently and is often found during pregnancy, although more typically on the gums. I went to see a doctor last week and he seems to think it’s an infection of the hair follicle instead, even though I pointed out there was no swelling. He insisted it was a little red, but I said that could be because it bled twice the night before. He prescribed an antibiotic cream and said that he could remove it if it doesn’t resolve. I did the cream for a few days and it didn’t look like anything was happening so I stopped since I was a little concerned about the steroids in the cream. It seems like it sometimes resolves spontaneously after delivery so I suppose I’ll have to wait. And if it doesn’t, then I’ll probably rather see a dermatologist, as I don’t really trust the doctor to remove it properly (apparently, there’s a chance of recurrence if it’s not fully removed). In the meantime, I’m stuck with a blob on my chin that makes me a little witch-like. Boo. This pregnancy has certainly been quite different from the last one. I guess I had it too easy the last time. Ha. Well, with nineteen weeks left, I’m sure there’ll be more surprises to come.

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10 responses

  1. im seriously counting down until our scan which is a week and a half from now. not because i want to know gender, because i dont, but because im hoping it can help me relax a bit. i still havent told a lot of people, or made a FB announcement, and i find myself always questioning if things could really be progressing when i get my weekly update on my phone. seems paranoid i know, but still i worry. and this whole worry business does not go well with the NHS. they checked for less than half of the down syndrome markers that i had looked at with Kleas pregnancy, and didnt even know about trisomy 18 or 13 testing (which can be done at the same time). makes me kind of question the *expertise* of the midwives here, as they didnt even know that downs syndrome was trisomy 21 defect when i kept referring to it as such. this is their job, they should know this! we also had a snotty sonographer for the first scan, it was incredibly quick, and so im guessing that is what the second scan is going to be like too. err just kind of annoys me.

    but anyway, i know raspberry is older but how did she do during the scan? im considering bringing Klea as she enjoyed looking at the scan picture from 12 weeks and is very involved with what is going on/reading about reproduction with me. and because i dont really have anyone to leave her with. did you have a midwife appointment after the scan, and was it long? we had one after the 12 week scan which put us at the hospital for over 2 hours, i cant imagine dealing with klea for 2 hours like that.

    and our NHS trust makes us pay 5 pounds per picture, and the woman made a comment that she could just use the same picture as “they all look the same anyways” when trying to locate ours. hmmph

    September 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm

  2. For some unknown reason, I think this baby’s a boy, but it’s completely baseless.

    Hey, it would be very cool if it were a boy. So that you would have a girl and a boy like how we do. Can you please have a boy? ; )

    September 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm

  3. 19 weeks…. so quick. Aww I wish I could be there to document your belly. Although I remember I never took pictures until very close to the end…

    Nuclear family, here you come (if you are indeed have a boy).

    September 16, 2013 at 1:33 am

  4. Haha, you make me laugh. The only reason I’d like a girl is so I can reuse all of Raspberry clothes… not that a boy couldn’t, or if she doesn’t like the clothes. Completely frivolous reason, I know!

    September 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm

  5. Yeah, you took pictures of my Raspberry belly in August and in January. But really, when you’re huge and waddling, that makes for a better picture than when the bump is barely there :P

    You forgot the dog in the nuclear family.

    September 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm

  6. That’s pretty crazy, that the midwife was so clueless. I’m sort of torn between the over-medicalization of pregnancy and just taking it easy and having as natural/intervention-free a pregnancy as possible. My Western brain keeps thinking that there should be more done, but I can also see it as being too much. Hmm, conflicted.

    I actually told Lucas that all ultrasound pictures do look alike but despite that, I still want the picture of our baby. :P

    Raspberry was all right during the second scan. She was watching the screen and we were pointing out the various bones and body parts. She didn’t really lose interest like she did the first time around, ironically. And we didn’t have a midwife appointment after. I only see the midwife at the clinic near my home, and every two months or so at that. That said, I should really book my next appointment in October!

    September 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm

  7. Haha, yeah a dog. I’ve been hankering for a dog since the start of the year actually…

    September 23, 2013 at 3:10 am

  8. A dog! For some reason, I envisioned you being a little fearful of dogs. Or maybe I’m confusing you with someone else or some other animal?

    September 23, 2013 at 9:55 am

  9. Nope! Actually, you are right. I am a bit fearful of dogs. But I really want a wee pug. But then Christian told me about their nasal problems and then I was all :/

    September 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm

  10. I guess I can see pugs having nasal problems :( Somewhat off-topic, but I read a NYT magazine article about how bulldogs look nothing like they did in the 18/19th century. They’ve been bred (maybe inbred?) to look different and because of that, they have a whole host of medical issues. Poor dogs.

    I’m not really a dog person… or a pet person, for that matter. Lucas says he’d like a dog someday and Raspberry has said she’d like one too. But to her, cats still reign supreme (do you know how many times a day I hear the words “cat” and “kitten?” UGH!).

    September 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm

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